Leslie Jones says she ‘wasn’t very free’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and doesn’t miss the show ‘at all’

Leslie Jones says she ‘wasn’t very free’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and doesn’t miss the show ‘at all’

10/17/2020

  • Leslie Jones starred on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" for five seasons, with her last being in 2019. 
  • The comedian and actress joined the show as a writer and became a featured player and cast member in 2014.
  • She recently told Entertainment Tonight and USA Today that she doesn't miss being on the show "at all."
  • "That job was hard, man. That job was like two jobs, and very restrictive too. I wasn't very free there," Jones told ET.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Leslie Jones surprised many fans when she announced she was leaving "Saturday Night Live" in 2019 after starring in the sketch-comedy series for five years.

Jones reflected on her decisions to leave the show in a recent interview with Kevin Frazier from Entertainment Tonight, and the actress revealed that she doesn't have any regrets about leaving NBC's Studio 8H.

"I don't miss it. At all," Jones told Frazier. "That job was hard, man. That job was like two jobs, and very restrictive too. I wasn't very free there."

Speaking with Bill Keveny of USA Today, Jones admitted that she learned a lot from the show, and while she misses her former castmate Kenan Thompson, she's excited for fans to "really see Leslie."

"I know that would be terrible for me to just say it like that," Jones told Keveny. "Of course, I learned a lot at 'SNL.' I love what I learned there, but I (was) 47. That's a hard job. It's very restrictive. Now I'm free, and y'all can really see Leslie. You can see what Leslie can do. What I learned there is great, but I don't miss the hundred hours a week."

Jones is now hosting ABC's reboot of the game show "Supermarket Sweep," and she told ET that she has "full creative control" of the show.

"It's just, you know, a comedian's dream come true," Jones said of hosting the game show, which premieres on Sunday.

In August 2019, Jones confirmed she was saying goodbye to "Saturday Night Live" in an Instagram post thanking her castmates and fans — and joked that she is "#NotDeadJustGraduating."

View this post on Instagram

Yes, it’s true I am leaving Saturday Night Live. I cannot thank NBC, the producers, writers, and amazing crew enough for making SNL my second home these last five years. Lorne Michaels, you’ve changed my life in so many ways! Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for always having my back. You not only have my loyalty but you have my heart!! You have shown me skills I never imagined I had. I leave a better performer because of you. To the incredible cast members: I will miss working, creating and laughing with you. I will miss holding it down with Kenan everyday, I will miss Cecily’s impression of me making me laugh at myself often, I will miss Kate’s loving hugs and talks when I needed. And of course Colin, you porcelain-skinned Ken doll. I will miss all my cast mates!! Especially being at the table reads with them!! Everyone needs to know Leslie Jones couldn’t have done any of the things I did without these people. One last thing – to the fans – you are the BEST!! Thank you for all the love and support through my SNL years and I know you will be as excited as I am when you see some of the amazing projects and adventures that I have coming up very soon! Love you all!! #iamnotdeadjustgraduating – Leslie

A post shared by Leslie Jones (@lesdogggg) on

"Everyone needs to know Leslie Jones couldn't have done any of the things I did without these people," Jones wrote in August 2019 of her "Saturday Night Live" castmates.

The comedian joined the series as a writer, and in 2014, became a featured player and cast member. She went on to earn an Emmy nomination for her role on the show. Jones was known for starring in the show's installments of "Weekend Update" and the sketch "Love and Leslie," where she gave comedic updates about her romantic life.

She once portrayed Meghan Markle's third cousin in a sketch about etiquette lessons and also portrayed Whoopi Goldberg in a parody of the "The View," as well as former first lady Michelle Obama.

Nearly one year after Jones' departure from the show, "Saturday Night Live" is filming its 46th season in New York City with a live studio audience after completing its 45th season remotely as a precaution to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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